There is a great deal of irony in the fact that I like to make lists and be organized and prepared, yet I am forever struggling to meal plan. I know the value in meal planning…time and money saved being at the top of the list. Knowledge doesn’t automatically translate into action though, and I’ve been struggling with food for months. Changing my job six months ago came with many wonderful benefits but also the disruption to my schedule and routine. Overall, I am okay with the disruption. I think I am fine with change and being flexible, but meal planning has been one area in my life that I just haven’t been able to get a firm grasp on again. The lack of meal planning in combination with my new variable schedule has left my eating habits in shambles, and I think I finally hit rock bottom the other night as I ate McDonalds in my driveway.
In the aftermath of that night, I had determined that I would make time today to do a real grocery shop and to plan for the week ahead. And I did. I decided that any fancier or elaborate meal would be best planned for my days off. This Wednesday, on a night I work a close shift, I’ve planned a stew in the crockpot. The night I work until 6PM will be a relatively quick and simple meal of perogies, farmers sausage, salad and raw vegetables. One night will be spaghetti…something that will appeal to even my pickiest eater and can also be prepared by anyone, if necessary. I have the entire week planned, including vegetables for each day, with the lone exception of Saturday, another closing shift. The family can fend for themselves or use the frozen lasagna I picked up today. Hopefully there will be leftovers that I can take to work with me.
It feels good to have the week planned out and the fridge stocked. Even if no one is able or willing to help with prep during the week, I feel that my plan will be manageable. Everyone won’t be happy with every meal choice, but there is something for everyone at some point throughout the week. For the first time in much too long, I feel excited about food, about eating well, about reclaiming organization.